How to read an image and Representation

How does the spectator perceive an image as a result of the design decision?

Today we had a discussion with Cath Davies on how to read an image and representation. We all had to look at two different types of James Bond film posters, one from 1960’s and one from 1980’s. Both posters had a clear difference and to be able to sort these differences we had to create three columns, the first one was for description, the second for Analysis and the third for theory.

1960’s James Bond poster

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From looking at this poster you get a clear description of James Bond and his characteristics. The first thing you notice is that Bond is wearing a suit, holding a used gun in one hand and a cigaret in the other. It is clear that Bond is a wealthy and powerful man and possibly someone that’s not to be messed with. The characters confidence shows as he is leaning forward and is designed to be bigger than the other characters making him physically distinct in the frame. It is clear that Bond is a professional from the way he’s holding the fired gun, he is very relaxed and confidant with himself, and the fact that he’s holding a cigaret adds to this effect.

The three first women on the other hand are wearing hardly any clothes, and the colour white suggest that they are vulnerable. The women are objectified and are designed to be smaller than Bond showing his power and their vulnerability. The fired pistol could also be referring to Bonds masculinity, suggesting that he has slept with the three women and now they’re changing back into their clothes.

The fourth woman is different, she on the other hand is fully clothed, but the slit in her dress still suggesting a sense of sexual appeal possibly between her and Bond. The woman is designed further away from Bond possibly to show that she is harder to seduce than the other women, and the fact that she’s an exotic character shows she is probably connected to the villain.

1980’s James Bond poster

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Different to the 1960’s poster the woman has the most power, towering over Bond with a large gun . The woman is very masculine and robotic, whilst her racial identity is also very threatening to Bond. On the other hand Bond is in a state of panic, his open body language suggesting that he’s been caught off guard. He’s also wearing white suggesting he’s much more vulnerable. There is clearly more equality in the picture between how men and women are seen, the female character is emerging from the ground, suggesting she’s just as important than Bond and designed in a way so that she’s physically dominating him. Of of the main differences here is that the woman isn’t defined by sex, but by power and strength.

 

 

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Prepping for screenprint – Photoshop.

Introduction to Photoshop

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Experimenting with the different levels.
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Using multiply to mix two effects.

Examples of the different effects on Photoshop. The first picture (stamp) and the last are my favourite and definitely work better as a print. These will be the most successful prints as there is a clear contrast in colours.

 

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Original picture
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Changing the brightness and Contrast.

The first and fourth pictures are my favourite and definitely the best to do a print, as there is a clear outline around the picture and the black and white colours are quite bold and sharp.

Implicit or Explicit?- Portraits.

Todays task was to learn about the difference between implicit and explicit images. From the brief lecture I learnt that when creating a piece of design work using image is always important to see which pictures are implicit and explicit and if they’re appropriate for the audience and information.

In pairs we had the task of taking a portrait image of each other, after 15 minuets of learning about our likes and dislikes. My partner Ben decided that a strong feature about himself was that he’s quite an imaginative person and he’s always daydreaming. He’s also quite short!

So my idea was to take a picture of Ben so that his face was on the bottom of the page and that there was loads of blank space above him. I also made him look upwards to add to the effect. I’m really happy with how this picture turned out. Originally the picture was slightly lighter with a white background, but after putting it through Photoshop and experimenting with the contrast I really like the black and White effect. What I also like his how all the small details like freckles are shown on his face, making it a more natural and organic picture.

In my opinion the pictures shows Ben’s personality really well. The dark space makes him look smaller whilst at the same time, shows that he’s got a big imagination. If I was to change anything on this picture I would possibly experiment with putting slightly more light on his face, to make his face more visible with less shadows, but over all I’m really happy!

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The next image is a portrait of me by Ben. For this picture Ben wanted to show how I had a bubbly and wild personality, whilst also emphasising on the fact that I have red hair. The first idea we had was to try capturing an image of me moving so that my hair move and looked almost like an action shot, but this didn’t work as well as we thought, as my hair covered my face too much! So the next idea we thought would be really successful was if I was to lie on the floor and spread my hair out above me. After some editing he was happy with the outcome and I think he’s done it really successfully.

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Explicit image

In the implicit image of Ben I decided to capture half of his face to show how he is rather short, so to create my explicit image I decided to use an object to be able to create the same idea, but in a more obvious way! I thought that making Ben hold a tape measure would give the impression that his height is one of his main features and to add to this I decided it would be really effective if he was too look up at the tape measure at the same time.

Again I am really happy with the outcome as it shows Ben’s character and personality really well, however I would have liked for the picture to have a much clearer background so that all the attention is focused  on Ben holding the tape measure.

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Newspaper workshop!

In the afternoon workshop we were split into groups of four and given one newspaper each. My group had ‘The Daily Telegraph’, and together we had to find out who was our target audience, what did we think about the layout and images.

We discovered that it’s usually the older generation and business men/ women who usually go for this news paper, as there was a whole section of the paper devoted to that topic area. We thought that the layouts were very misleading, with most of the headings placed next to pictures that weren’t relevant to that quote or text.

From the newspaper we found five different images to study. Two of the pictures were of the The Queen and Prince Charles  caught off guard, really bad quality! Another picture was of a man holding a fossil, that was made to look like more of a piece of concrete which wasn’t a clear picture at all, So therefore it was really unsuccessful! We chose to include the last pictures of an ex soldier standing in front of a large poppy and a picture of Michel Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both pictures had obviously been taken professionally and therefore looked like better quality pictures than the ones from the newspaper.

 

How successful is Guerrilla Marketing for the business community?

I decided to do some research into Guerrilla Marketing and why it’s so important to businesses, here’s what I found.

“I’m referring to the soul and essence of Guerrilla Marketing which remain as always – achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy , with unconventional methods, such as investigating energy instead of money “ – Jay Conrad Levinson, from his book ‘Guerilla Marketing’.

Guerrilla  Marketing can be found all around us as an advertising strategy that works ti promote products on a personal and memorable level. The phase ‘Guerilla Marketing’ was inspired by ‘Guerilla Warfare’, small tactical strategies used by armed civilians creating elements of surprise. It was founded bt the so-called ‘Farther of guerrilla Marketing’ Jay Conrad Levinson, who cared his tactical ideas in his book in 1984.

The low-cost unconventional marketing tactics are used all over the world by businesses that have products to promote or by individuals who are trying to find jobs or more work. Guerrilla Marketing was primarily aimed at small businesses that were failing or needed to reach a larger audiences. The tactics are simple to understand an inexpensive,  perfect for small businesses to promote. Jay Conrad Levinson also states in his book that ‘it gives small businesses a delightfully unfair advantage: certainty in an uncertain world, economy in high-priced world, simplicity in a complicated world, marketing awareness in a clueless world.” Therefore Guerrilla Marketing is found to  be very successful for the small business community.

Tactics like using social media, graffiti and thinking outside the box, are a perfect way of reaching the public in more creative ways. Social media connects billions of people around the world through ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ , ‘Instagram’ and other rich media and therefore a brilliant way for small businesses to promote their name to the world. Graffiti is another popular form of Guerrilla Marketing for smaller businesses. Most people would see graffiti as a violations or a wrong doing in their community, but some forms of graffiti are considered legal. This tactic would get people talking and therefore spread the company’s name.  Guerrilla Marketing also gives businesses the freedom to think outside the box. An example of a business thinking outside the box was ‘Adidas’ when they placed blue rubber ducks in a fountain with the message , “I’ve swam too far -help me get back home! Reward for my return at Adidas Original store”. Once you had retrieved he duck you would then get a free t-shirt, promoting the company.

On the other hand the tactics can be far more risky and unpredictable for larger businesses that are beginning to downsize. The fact that larger businesses are more at risk than smaller companies is to do with the fact that they had more money to invest in stunts which could cause financial problems in the long-term. An example of a disastrous Guerrilla Marketing stunt was the ‘Turner Networks bomb scare’. In 2007 Turner Broadcasting used battery powered LED place cards to create the ‘Mooninite’ character from he show ‘Aqua Teen Hunger Force; a new film featuring Cartoon Network. The LED cards were placed throughout Boston, Massachusetts and the surrounding cities. The plan was that the character would light up at night to show it putting up its middle finger, resembling some characteristics of explosive devices that caused a scare. Turner Networks received a lot of criticism and s $2 Million fine because of the incident.

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picture from following website.

Guerilla Marketing therefore is all about taking the consumer by surprise and creating social buzz. It relies on unconventional marketing strategies and tons of imagination. According to Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing is said to make more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. The strategies are very important for the well-being of businesses but they also have a large effect on the audience too.

Coca Cola is an example of a company who created an interactive vending machine. the “Happiness machine” was created in January 2010; it was a vending machine that dispensed more than just a cold beverage. The company placed this machine in a University and secretly filming the students reactions. Coca Cola released the video containing the vending machine sharing numerous Coca Cola bottles and other random items. Shortly after releasing the video on YouTube that reached 4.5 Million reviews. See the video below.

Another form of successful Guerrilla Marketing was form Red Bull and the Austrian extreme athlete, Felix Baumgarter. The professional athlete broke the highest skydiving jump record, plummeting 128,000 feet into the stratosphere, promoting Red Bull. This act attracted much deserved attention and broke social media records with 8 million views on YouTube. See video below.

The American physiological horror film ‘The Blair Witch Project’ was also promoted using Guerrilla Marketing. The film was created by three film students that wanted to spread rumours about a fictional legend of the ‘Blair Witch’. The students created an internet campaign and website dedicated to the legend. People were interested in the film that wasn’t even made and because of this the film grossed $248,639,099 worldwide.

My personal favourite use of guerrilla marketing was ‘Medicines du Monde’s temporary homeless shelters’. The association’s prime idea was to call attention to the homelessness problem facing Paris. The company distributed pop up tents to the homeless people in the City. When the government saw the large amount of tents popping up around the city it promoted the government to allocate millions to emergency shelters for the homeless.

These examples of  Guerrilla Marketing prove how useful the tactic is for companies to promote their businesses and shows how successful it can be. Ideally the tactic is best used for smaller businesses that want to develop their company on a bigger scale. On the other hand using this form of strategy creates a larger risk for larger businesses. The main reason guerrilla marketing is so successful is due to the fact the goal should be to implement something that the people will embrace, enjoy and share with friends.

INFORMATION FROM:

http://www.businessinsider.com/guerilla-marketing-2010-4?IR=T 

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/206202

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/adidas-launches-store-with-the-help-of-ducks

http://www.hotcow.co.uk/Buzz-Blog/top-10-guerrilla-marketing-campaigns-in-the-last-10-years.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Longo

“An artist should know art history. Shock value only lasts so long.” – Robert Longo

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An American known for his Retrospective exhibitions, bold drawings fusing pop culture and photorealist drawings of jumping people. He was born in 1953 and studied sculpture alongside Cindy Sherman in State University College in Buffalo, NY. He joined a circle of underground artists working in New York creating drawings and sculptures showing masculinity, power, mass media, and urban lifestyles.

I chose to do some research on Robert Longo following his connections to the photographer Cindy Sherman. Sherman’s work mainly focus on women and the different stereo types where as Longo critically recognized for works such as his Men in the Cities series, featuring men and women in business attire shown contorted in odd poses. Both artists use people as inspiration in their work but  have very different views on how they’re portrayed.

‘Men in the cities’

‘Men trapped in ice’, 1980

Created using charcoal and graphite on paper.

 

Installation view: God Machines

The mysteries 2009

Possibly my favourite works from Longo, even though it’s not one of his well known works, I love the dark tones and shadows created.

 

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Website used for the pictures.

Cardiff in Image

Yesterdays task was to take photographs around Cardiff using the themes provided. We put ourselves into groups of four and together we decided what images would go best with each theme. Our themes were;

  • Concrete Jungle 
  • Life of the Unexpected
  • W’Exit 
  • Land of our fathers

We met by Cardiff Castle at 9:30am, a good time to start as the city wasn’t too busy. The first idea we had was to take pictures of the temporary statues placed on the Castle walls, left from the Roald Dahl celebration. As we continued around Cardiff we came across another temporary thing that could work for the same theme, a statue with a comical sticker stuck to the back of it. We decided that this would work best as it was quite comical and ‘Unexpected’,

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Life of the Unexpected

In my opinion the picture answers the theme perfectly. We edited the picture slightly using Photoshop to play around with contrast and brightness so that the sticker was slightly more obvious.

We then continued to the St Davids car park and thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of Cardiff from really high up for the theme concrete Jungle.  We then thought that this would be slightly too obvious. We then came across some ruined buildings and construction workers, which we though would be a really good idea, as there was one building that wasn’t demolished and one that was.

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Concrete jungle

I love the angle that this picture has been taken from, I think the difference between both buildings is very effective, as if its showing a before and after. I also like how the first building is closer than the demolished building, giving the image depth and balance. However I think we should have edited slightly more on this picture, possibly experimenting with it in black and white or even to experiment with making the very few colours stand out.

The next image we tried finding was the ‘W’exit’, we found that this was a really hard image to do. We decided to find an image that would show Welsh pride, so we decided to be very simple and take a picture of the welsh flag, floating,

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In my opinion the image is rather simple and could have been better, but I think that the strong colours of the flag  and the red flag under it, show that these are the colours you think of when talking about Wales.

For our last picture we wanted to get an image that would go with the theme ‘land of out fathers’, the idea we had was to get an image that would show Welsh heritage. We decided to take a picture of the Church as religion was a big part of out Welsh heritage and also that the architecture and construction of the church was done by those before us.

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I really like this picture, I think that the image of the cross is really effective and the different layers gives the image depth. Personally I think we could have experimented more with shadows and contrast on the building, to make it look more striking. What would have also been successful is if the Welsh flag was in the picture, which unfortunately wasn’t up.

Cindy Sherman

“I didn’t have any interest in traditional art.” – Cindy Sherman

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Cindy Sherman?

An american photographer who is known for her ‘Film stills’, that rapidly rose to celebrity status in the international art world during 1980. Throughout her work she maintained a sense of expression in the media-dominated civilisation.  Her photography is based on portraits of herself staged in various scenarios showing the different stereotypes of women, in some photographs she poses as screen idols like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren.

Film Stills 1978-1980

Individual characters resembling moments in a film, shown through a series of black and white photographs. The women are dressed in vintage clothing, some wearing wigs and wearing subtle make up. These photographs are presented on gelatine silver print on paper.

Untitled Film Still #17 1978, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film Still 17, 1978
Untitled Film Still #53 1980, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film Still 53, 1980
Untitled Film Still #48 1979, reprinted 1998 by Cindy Sherman born 1954
Film still 48, 1979

INSPIRATION?

  • Making the person her main focal point in a very subtle way.
  • using dark tones possibly to convey that the characters aren’t happy?
  • The backgrounds all give a sense of location, which helps to give the person who’s looking at it an idea of where the character is based, why she is there and possibly the meaning of the photo.
  • The dark shadows give the photographs depth, whilst also making them look rather mysterious and gloomy.
  • Using light in the right way, for example in the first and second image the light shines to the back of the women, therefore left to look rather depressed, lonely or mysterious?  In the last picture the light shine directly on the woman, whilst the background is dark and grey.

Pink Robes series

These are some of my favourite images from the photographer. I think the use of lighting is very effective how the dark shadows progress and become darker by the end of the series. Sherman succeeds to show the different emotions through using different lighting and that this is really important when creating portrait images, for example if there was loads of light the same emotions as when its darker wouldn’t be shown.